Sunday, May 20, 2012

ONC Creates Positions & Challenge

Dr. Farzad Mostashari ONC Coordinator for HIT announced the creation of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Office of Consumer eHealth. The primary function of the Office of the CMO will be to infuse a clinical perspective across ONC on all activities with clinical implications. A search for both the CMO and a Director for the Office of Consumer eHealth will be undertaken nationally, and postings for both positions will appear on shortly.

Specifically, the CMO will be involved in safety, usability, clinical decision support, meaningful use policy development, and quality including metrics and measurement development. The CMO will report to the ONC Coordinator and will play a key role in help ONC improve health and healthcare through health IT.

The Office of Consumer eHealth will continue to work on consumer engagement that began in the Office of Policy and Planning. Creation of this new office will enable ONC to expand upon work already underway.

In another move, ONC recently launched their “Reporting Patient Safety Events Challenge” designed to spur development of health IT tools to help report medical errors in hospitals and outpatient settings.

The Challenge was initiated since hospitals are struggling to increase internal incident reporting and are struggling to create effective systems so that their quality and risk management staff can easily complete root cause analyses and follow-up.

In addition, quality and risk management staffs have to issue reports using a paper-based reporting system that can affect reporting frequency and quality. The staff’s energy is spent convincing physicians and nurses to report incidents, fill out forms, and then send the forms to the appropriate agencies. ONC is looking for innovators to participate in this new developer contest to help the healthcare delivery community solve these issues.

Reporting issues could be partially alleviated by developing and deploying an effective software reporting solution. This solution would make it easier for any qualified individual to file a report electronically using Common Formats but allowing for additional elements and narratives. The solution must also allow for the hospital quality and risk management staffs to add information from follow-up investigations, submit reports as appropriate to patient safety organizations, submit reports to states, or to FDA, and then be able to track follow-up activities.

Entries for this contest must be submitted by August 31, 2012 and will be judged by:

·        Compliance with AHRQ’s common formats
·        Usability and design
·        Ability to integrate with EHRs and other health IT data sources
·        Ability to apply NHIN standards

The first place winner will receive $50,000, second place prize will be $15,000, and third prize will be $5,000.

For more information, go to